NYSUT fully supports parents’ right to choose what is best for their children – including NYSUT members who decide as parents to opt their child out of state tests.
Pursuant to Resolution #16 adopted at the 2015 Representative Assembly, locals have the option to advise their members on participating in opting out. To that end, NYSUT has provided all of its Local Presidents with a “Fact Sheet on Opting Out of State Tests,” as well as a letter from the NYSUT Officers for Local Presidents to use with members regarding Opt Out. Both documents are attached for your information and usage.
NYSUT Alert from Vice President Fortino - SED ELA and Math Standards Review Committee; Invitation to Participate
This is an updated link http://www.nysed.gov/aimhighny to an invitation from Commissioner Elia seeking interested teachers to apply to serve on SED's ELA and math standards review committees. Please share this information with your members and urge interested members to apply for this important work. Participating teachers will be asked to secure release time and will be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses for their work in reviewing and revising state standards. The state has committed to standards review as part of the overhaul of standards and assessments that NYSUT called for in concert with parents.
NYSUT remains vigilant in insisting that the state's overhaul of assessments and standards be meaningful and open-ended. Toward that end, we successfully pressed SED last week to alter the original specifications of this invitation to remove length of service restrictions; amend a requirement for principal recommendation to one of principal support for release time; and ensure NYSUT is included on the list of relevant professional organizations. Additionally, we have emphasized that our members' professional deliberations must not be circumscribed in any way or directed to a pre-determined outcome. While it is essential that New York's teachers lead the way in establishing these new developmentally appropriate standards, please know that we will continue to monitor SED's processes to ensure they facilitate the significant changes called for by the Governor's Common Core Task Force.
Everyone knows that the problems surrounding teacher evaluations and high-stakes testing will not truly be “fixed” until the APPR law is fundamentally changed or abolished and the toxic influence of corporate profiteers is removed from education policymaking.
Everyone also acknowledges that the progress we have made in the last few months would not have been possible without the pressure of 240,000 opt outs. But further progress toward our ultimate goals is dependent upon the continued vitality of the opt out movement. Unfortunately, there are clear signs that interest in and support for opting out is declining, due principally to SED pressure on school districts and uncertainty among parents who are being misled into believing that the moratorium fixed everything and that school districts will lose funding if children don’t take the tests.
The local leaders who make up the Nassau Region Steering Committee met on February 23rd and were in agreement that all teacher locals have a compelling interest in reinvigorating the opt-out movement by increasing public awareness of the importance of continuing to opt children out of high-stakes tests. To this end, the Steering Committee is planning a high-visibility event in support of opt out and is calling on every teacher local to participate to the fullest extent possible.
On Saturday, March 12, teachers, parents, family members and friends are requested to come to the Roosevelt Field Mall between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and noon wearing homemade white T-shirts that simply say OPT-OUT to “shop” for support for the opt out movement.
The event is called OPT-OUT/SHOP-OUT and the hope is that holding it at one of the busiest and most visible venues in Nassau County will generate increased “buzz” about opting out.
Because Roosevelt Field is private property, this is technically not a demonstration or a protest or a rally, but simply a group of people out for a morning of shopping who all just happen to be wearing the same T-shirt. There will be no signs, organized marching or leafleting.
The Steering Committee believes this is a perfect opportunity for members to do something meaningful and fun about an issue of great importance to them, and maybe get a little shopping done in the process. Anything your local can do to generate member interest in participating, such as arranging for “shoppers” to meet for breakfast beforehand or lunch afterward, would be very helpful.
Please see the attached memo regarding the 2016 Dependent Eligibility Verification Audit for all Unit II members.
I am very pleased to announce the recipients of this years' BMUST awards, chosen by their peers in the buildings and by members of the Board of Trustees. Each award winner will be honored at the Annual BMUST Awards Dinner Dance.
Andrew Franklin - Mepham High School
Felomena Fuschetto - Merrick Avenue Middle School
Sara Gant - Kennedy High School
Michael Langer - Grand Avenue Middle School
Karin McMahon - Meadowbrook Alternative Program
Julie Rosslee - Calhoun High School
LOU DeFILIPPO OUTSTANDING UNION SERVICE AWARD:
Bill Morris – Mepham High School
PARA SPECIAL SERVICE AWARD:
Catherine Sheehan – Calhoun High School
PRESIDENT’S CHOICE AWARD:
Heather Castellano – Mepham High School
PATRICIA CHRISTY OUTSTANDING RETIREE AWARD:
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD:
Rich Wilen - Merrick
FRIEND OF EDUCATION AWARD:
It's a petition to oppose John King's appointment to the Department of Education. Need I say more?
Save The Date
Mepham End of the Year / Retirement Party
Thursday, June 2, 2016
70 Milburn Ave
Baldwin, NY 11510
Formal invitation to follow...